Tag Archives: Cosiness

The cold hitting in the northern hemisphere

Dealing with ongoing cardiac problems in their younger son, now an adult, who was born with a rare genetic disorder that includes multiple disabilities, the father fights against Stage IV cancer and the mother finds herself struggling daily with feelings of hopelessness that threaten to defeat her natural optimism.  They see that life is hard, and for most of us, it is likely to get harder in the future. Yet it is also filled with blessings and promise.  {About Defeat Despair}

Julia, the writer of the blog Defeat Despair writes

Our wooded lot feels enchanted in winter. February 2010Many of us who live north of the equator have been enduring record-cold temperatures. Some have been hit with a particularly nasty flu or other seasonal aches and pains. Power outages, weather delays and traffic snarls, along with wind chills below zero, can make wintertime something to dread. So let’s get cozy and enjoy what’s good about this season. {A poet in January}

When it is so cold outside, who doesn’t love to sleep in? For many the aversion to getting up in the morning is much greater in the winter, when the cold weather makes a snug warm bed all the more appealing. {Nonetheless}

While winter brings a lazy streak, it also sparks Julia’s inner drive to get organized, set goals and form good habits. She writes

Those winter resolutions, along with the beauty of the snowfalls such as the one I’m seeing right now, are reasons why I love winter despite the discomfort and inconvenience of inclement weather.

I hope you are enjoying January too, whatever kinds of weather it brings to where you are. If you are in the midst of your summer, or live in a tropical climate, enjoy it! Sip an iced tea for me, and go barefoot in the sand of a seashore whenever you have the chance.

If you, like me, are in “cozy hibernation” mode, keep that kettle on and lots of tea, coffee or cocoa handy. Check out some of the many self-improvement articles that proliferate in January via magazines and websites, and dream of springtime. As I keep reminding myself, it will be here before we know it! {Nonetheless}

Brew a cup of your favorite cold-weather beverage. Pull up a comfy chair, light a crackling fire, or if you don’t have that kind of fireplace (alas, I don’t), try switching on your gas or electric fireplace, or just snuggle up with a warm fuzzy throw. Take out your favorite poetry book, or grab your laptop, tablet or phone and go on a poetry scavenger hunt for some wonderful undiscovered gems, or lifelong favorites you can’t fully remember.

If you find anything lovely, funny, thought-provoking or heartwarming, we’d love to have you share it with us here. For every comment that links us to a poem, I’ll answer with a favorite of my own for us to read. Our high school English teachers would be proud!

Let’s bring our virtual Verandah indoors while it’s too cold to be outside. What we lack in sunshine and warm breezes we can more than make up for in congenial online company and realtime hygge.*  Cookies, pastries and savory snacks optional. {A poet in January}

In any case this is the time to enjoy the small things.

A charming display of teapots greeted us at a Pennsylvania bed & breakfast inn, Jun 2015

A charming display of teapots greeted us at a Pennsylvania bed & breakfast inn, June 2015

Despite the deceptively warm days of this past December, cold weather will be our frequent companion for weeks to come. Time for bundling up– or perhaps I should say settling down? for some cozy comforts to chase away the chill. Whether your day will take you indoors or out, be sure to make time for tea.

Note that I said “make time for tea,” not “have some tea” or “drink tea.” One of the great transforming qualities of becoming a tea lover is the inevitability that it will become a centering ritual, calming our nerves even before we take that first taste. Coffee drinkers also understand this, though that beverage is more often associated with busy days and drinking “on the run” — a shame, really, given the salutary benefits of serene sipping.

This winter morning, I invite you to sit down with me for a few minutes of reflective enjoyment. The kettle is on, and there has never been a better time to appreciate the greatness of small things. What are some of the everyday joys you look forward to this week? {Greatness in small things}

January bliss: a comfy chair, poetry, and tea in a lovely cup given by a dear friend. You’re invited to drop in and tell us your favorites– poets, teas, or both!

 


“When one reads a poet in January, it is as lovely as when one goes to walk in June.”
— Jean Paul Friedrich Richter

 

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Note: Hygge has been called everything from “the art of creating intimacy”, “cosines of the soul”, “the absence of annoyance” to “taking pleasure from the presence of soothing things”, “cosy togetherness” but I think my personal favourite is “the pursuit of everyday pleasures”.

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Christmas in the 1950s

Miracle on 34th Street.jpg

Original poster for the 1947 Christmas comedy-drama film written and directed by George Seaton and based on a story by Valentine Davies

Seaton, George American screenwriter and director original name George Stenius April 17, 1911 South Bend, Indiana, U.S. July 28, 1979 Beverly Hills, California American screenwriter and film director who was perhaps best known for his work on Miracle on 34th Street (1947) and The Country Girl (1954), both of which earned him Academy Awards for best screenplay. The son of Swedish immigrants, raised in Detroit, got his breakthrough with the holiday classic about a young girl (Natalie Wood) who begins to believe that the elderly man (Edmund Gwenn in an Oscar-winning performance) hired to play Santa Claus at Macy’s department store might actually be St. Nick. After a jealous fellow employee frames him for an assault, Kringle is placed in a mental hospital. At the ensuing sanity hearing, Kringle and his attorney attempt to prove that he is indeed Santa Claus.

“Miracle On 34th Street” has always found a place of warmth in my soul. {121714 – Christmas In The 50s}

writes

As I see the downtown store scenes of Christmas shoppers in the movie, my mind drifts back to the days of my childhood. {121714 – Christmas In The 50s}

The actor John Johnson who played the official Santa Claus for St. Albans finds that Gwenn who starred in the 1947 holiday film classic, helped set the standard for what a movie Santa Claus is supposed to be. When we were children looking forward for the many presents we could find under the Christmas tree we nearly every year got to see a performance of a homespun Christmas Street with a group of neighbours smitten by sugar-plum dreams and equipped with lots of extension cords, Santas, Snoopys, and inflatable snowmen, nativity scenes and teddy bears, model trains and flashing rooftop sleighs. In several stage versions we got to see as a child the scoundrels were mad more obvious and there were more of them. Also according to the times and popularity of names, the names of some of the characters were adapted to be more contemporary and to find more recognisable characters.

Some of our friends had lost their dad in the war and others had their parents working so hard that they had not so much time for their kids. also the writer of 121714 – Christmas In The 50s

Here in Belgium in front of nearly every big store there were Christmas singers for a good cause and the Salvation Army was unmistakably part of the Christmas Season picture.  In town you could not pass one shopping street without finding a Salvation Army band singing carols, around their little ‘fire’.

At that time the shops were still so incredibly decorated we just went to gaze in front of the shopwindows for all the magic bringing us into many special Christmas dreams. Everywhere you could feel the special spirit and people seemed much more friendly than the rest of the year.

Global warming had not reached us and we still could find real Winters with freezing cold days, having people to warm themselves very warm.

We at home having one of the first television had that extra dimension in the holiday period able to see the Christmas specials in the salon, after we had spend hours of reading in the library of the house and having had nice Christmas sweets in the lounge and some interesting chats in the parlour.

The writer of

The Christmas window displays seen in the film were originally made by Steiff for Macy’s. Macy’s later sold the window displays to FAO Schwarz in New York. FAO Schwarz then sold the windows to the Marshall & Ilsley Bank of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where they are on display every December in the bank’s lobby on North Water Street. {Miracle on 34th Street (in the United Kingdom first released as The Big Heart}

On the stage as well on the screen many versions saw the light and tried to bring some nice atmosphere in the Winter Holiday season. today there doe snot seem such a search for family warmth and ‘togetherness’ any more and the shops do not make so much work for decorating their shop-windows. In the shops and at the Christmas markets everything focusses on material gadgets and on alcoholic drinks, whilst non-peaceful music is yelling out of the loudspeakers. Though I must agree it sometimes was too much of having for weeks all those Christmas songs and jingle bells coming out our ears. 😉

thinks rightly that many of our age have those “Miracle on 34th” times of Thanksgiving and Christmas memories neatly and protectively stored in the wonderful areas of our minds. He  writes

I can vividly remember how J.C. Penny looked on Broughton Street; Sears & Roebuck was actually located about a mile away. Lerner’s was a dress store, kind of high-end, that made me really think that I was in New York… I trust that you will always cherish those memories, just as I do.

Dotta Raphels remarks

America in her generous bid to be tolerant and welcoming, has completely lost the essence of benevolence. She has allowed tolerance not only consume and blind her, but now, the many she welcomed with open arms are threatening to usurp her original self and traits. I know this country has seen many ugly sides such as slavery and denigration of fellow man, I do not speak of these times or traits, but rather of true fellowship of his ways and words, and the freedom to practice so, without being labeled one ridiculous thing or the other.

What about these generosities be reverted and extended to the people of America who still have traditional values and beliefs, regardless of how politically incorrect some may view their take?
I have a different sort of memory myself growing up in Christmas times back in Nigeria. It was a period of joy and celebration for us. A time when parents travelled back with families from cities to small hometown and villages, so the extended kin can all gather to celebrate our Lord and gift.

Many kids got their very own new cloths or shoes for the first time that period because parents saw it as a good time to reach deep into very thin pockets to give as Christ gave to their kids.
Total strangers would give kids money or sweets, and families would invite strangers off the streets to sup or dine with them. It depicted true brotherhood and such were glory days.

Today, it’s completely different. There are rapes, murders, crime of all imaginable sorts, and small hometowns and villages now overrun with thuggery, kidnapping ,rage and you name it.
The utopia Christmas no longer exits, and kids are no longer happy with sweets, new clothes and shoes or a simple supper. Everyone wants a mac, kindle, I Phone 6 or tablet, …

People of faith and followers of Christ are made to feel inferior for having an opinion and the very government that should protect everyone’s right to free worship, is now the same stifling some who want to celebrate our Lord.
We don’t all have to believe in the same thing, but the founding fathers of these united states as many mistakes as they made, in my humble opinion got one thing right… That is stating firmly that In God We trust. America is not and will never be anything other than In God We trust. If only present people will allow us follow our oath.

 

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A fragment of the 1947 film with the little Dutch Girl and Mary Field as her Mother, where the child shows the true spirit of Christmas, to be with some one loved. After she tells the Santa she does not need anything else than to say with the nice lady she sings the Dutch Saint Nicholas song in Dutch “Sinterklaas kapoentje”

Miracle On 34th Street with Mary Field – 1947

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Miracle On 34th Street (1955 version)


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Preceding articles

The Proper Place of Excess

Looking for the consummation of presents

One can buy a lot in the supermarket, but not hope

Solstice, Saturnalia and Christmas-stress

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Additional reading

Change

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Further reading

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